Brand: Chairman's Reserve
Origin: Saint Lucia Distillers Ltd., Roseau, Anse la Raye, Saint Lucia (picked by Gordon's)
Still: Pot (John Dore 1) & Hybrid (Vendôme) blend
Age: 13 years
Like many brands, Chairman's Reserve wants to capitalize on the growing enthusiast community centered around rum, which (generally) pushes for more complex, higher proof, or specialized products. Foursquare's Exceptional Cask Selections, Rhum JM's Single Barrels, and Worthy Park's Special Cask Series are examples of product lines that fit this criteria, offering rums that are distinguished past the core of each respective distillery/brand.
Chairman's Reserve Master's Selection is what Spiribaum and Saint Lucia Distillers, Ltd. (SLD) developed to fit this market niche; these are single barrels that are selected from SLD's aging stocks by Cellar Master Cyril Mangal, and offered to retailers and enthusiast groups for selection.
These are really fun and exciting cask strength bottles, as their production details have a number of variable details like still(s) used, type of aging cask, aging length, and even source material (cane juice or molasses). On top of that, these are typically offered for under $100 (often by a wide margin); an incredible value. And hats off to the Chairman's Reserve team for being transparent with these details: each bottle has this info printed on the label.
This 13 year Chairman's was selected by Gordon's in Boston, MA. It's a molasses-based rum whose components were distilled in 2006, with 50% coming through their John Dore 1 pot still, and 50% through the Vendôme hybrid still. It aged 13 years entirely in an ex-Bourbon cask before bottling in 2019 at a cask strength of 56.3% ABV.
Dark red-orange, medium clarity, low viscosity
Underripe raspberries, red grapes, industrial varnish, cooked blueberries, cinnamon, mesquite BBQ rub
Sour red grapes, raspberries, peach, blueberries, BBQ rub, banana peel, industrial varnish funk, Luxardo cherries
Long, warming, smokey, tannic; oak, BBQ rub, grill smoke, grilled peaches, raspberry
While Saint Lucian rum is not as popular as other islands' styles, Chairman's Reserve single barrels prove that this island's rum deserves to be peers with the best of them, in terms of both quality and value. This is a blast of flavor and power that provides ample smoke, fruit, and spice.
I'm noticing some similarities between Saint Lucian rum and Trinidad rum (like this Fernandes 18 year I previously reviewed), with some notes that remind me of mesquite BBQ, grilling spices, and industrial funk that occurs in higher proof expressions of both locales. The palate develops some bitterness as it goes into the finish, but this is subdued as oak, fruit, and BBQ comes dances back across the palate, before fading.
This is a wonderful rum and a great single barrel. SLD has a special thing going, and I hope the momentum continues to propel them forward to continue crafting incredible rum. If a local club or retailer has a Chairman's Reserve Master's Selection pick, I'd highly recommend giving it a try.
- Chairman's Reserve website
- /u/LIFOanAccountant's Chairman's Reserve 13 year Lincoln Road pick review – This cask is nearly identical in details, but different from the above review